HISA, FTC Seek Stay Of Federal Judge’s Injunction Blocking HISA In Louisiana, West Virginia

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the Federal Trade Commission have each filed emergency motions seeking stays of a federal judge’s injunction effectively blocking the Authority from enforcing its regulations in the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.

The motions were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

The injunction, ordered July 26 by Judge Terry A. Doughty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, was in conjunction with a lawsuit filed against the FTC, HISA and its board members and CEO by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, their respective racing commissions, Jockeys’ Guild, Inc., Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and five individuals.

 

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Stay of Adverse Ruling Denied, HISA Seeks Clarification

Federal District Judge Terry Doughty July 29 denied a motion filed by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to stay enforcement of a preliminary injunction entered July 26 against HISA’s enforcement of its rules in Louisiana and West Virginia.

At the same time, HISA appealed the preliminary injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The online record appears to direct the court clerk to certify the appeal record by Aug. 15.

HISA also filed a motion asking Doughty to clarify that the preliminary injunction applies to named plaintiffs only and not to all of plaintiffs’ members nationwide. The Jockeys’ Guild and Louisiana Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association, who are among the plaintiffs, publicly took the latter position after the injunction was entered. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include only five individuals.

 

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Louisiana Downs to Host HISA Webinars

Dear Louisiana Horsemen & Racing Association Members,

 

Currently, implementation of HISA (Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act) commences on July 1, 2022, with the HISA “Safety Program”. There will be two events that Louisiana Downs will be hosting in our Sky Room, that anyone with a LSRC license is invited and encouraged to attend.

1. Monday June 13th , 2022, Q&A Webinar Presentation – -(SKY ROOM) (10:30am-11:30 cst) -A zoom/ webinar call with HISA representatives, answering questions that “covered persons” may have. Topics on this webinar will be implementation, registration, allocation of fees, and rules of HISA.

The webinar meeting will be held physically in the Sky Room. Horsemen, and Association members who will not be at our facility can call in via zoom (see attached). Louisiana Downs will send the LAHBPA, as well as the LTBA, dial in information. Our Racing Ambassador Roxanne Tanner will moderate the call.

Please submit your questions for webinar to:

 

Roxanne Tanner (RTanner@ladowns.com); 318-741-2516

Jennifer Sokol (Jsokol@ladowns.com) 318-741-2512

 

2. Friday June 17th , 2022; Registration Day -–(SKY ROOM) (10:30am -?) HISA representatives will be at Louisiana Downs assisting horsemen, and association members with registration. Anyone with a LSRC license, can come to the Sky Room, and register with HISA representatives at this event.

Our association hopes both events will help clarify questions, as well assist in registration. Members of our Racing Team will be at these events as well to assist you.

Mitch Dennison

General Manager of Racing Louisiana Downs Casino and Racetrack 8000 E Texas Street, Bossier City LA 71111 Office:318-752-6503; MDennison@ladowns.com Zoom Call / Webinar Information

Event: Louisiana Downs; Q/A Webinar Presentation with HISA Representatives

Date: Monday June 13 th ,2022

Time: 10:30 am (cst)

Location: Sky Room, Louisiana Downs or Dial in Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84061654184?pwd=SDVTalhnUFJTUktXTFh3aXJaSkdqZz09

Dial in by phone information:

Meeting ID: 840 6165 4184 Passcode: 815033

Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Meeting ID: 840 6165 4184 Passcode: 815033

***Call is moderated by Louisiana Downs, please mute your phone or computer during the call. ****

Make sure your microphone is always on mute, only opening it when it is your turn to speak.

 

HISA Events LAD

LAHBPA Asks Louisiana Horsemen to Request Their US Representatives and Senators to Repeal HISA

NOTICE TO ALL MEMBERS

The Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) was enacted in 2020 and is current Federal Law. As a result, it can be fully enforced by the Federal Authorities, including but not limited to, US Marshalls, US Attorney’s and even the US National Guard, if necessary. The initial implementation of HISA commences on July 1, 2022, with the HISA “Safety Program”. The Federal Government has appointed a board for all aspects of HISA to be applied to United States horse racing, without exception.

The funding for this initial implementation is by way of an assessment placed on each race track based upon a combination of race days and purses available. The 1 st responsible party for the payment of this assessment is each state’s racing commission. If the commission declines this assessment, then the obligation is the responsibility of the race tracks. In addition to this assessment, other numerous mandates, which include, track surface safety, jockey physicals, complete identification of all participating personnel, concussion protocols, jockey whip rule and penalties, and an array of other federal regulations, will be enforceable. As time progresses, even more regulations will be imposed by HISA associated with medication.

Shortly after HISA became law, under President Trump’s signature, the Louisiana HBPA conducted strategy meetings with the National HBPA and its other affiliates to combat the effects of HISA. After no success administratively, Louisiana HBPA joined in a federal lawsuit that was filed in Texas seeking to have HISA declared unconstitutional. Simultaneously, the Louisiana HBPA worked closely with the Louisiana Attorney General, such that, the state of Louisiana joined other States in an action filed in Federal Court in Kentucky, challenging the legality of HISA. The Texas cause of action was unsuccessful at the district court level and was appealed to the United States fifth circuit in New Orleans. The fifth circuit recently issued a ruling questioning HISA’s authority in connection with the Federal Trade Commission. Unfortunately, this ruling, does not prevent HISA from becoming effective on July 1, 2022. It does, however, provide a glimmer of hope that with additional appellate practice, relief may be granted to combat the effects of HISA. As of this date, no decision has been rendered from the Kentucky district court.

The LAHBPA again requests that its members and all participants in Louisiana Horse Racing contact and ask their United States Representatives and Senators to repeal HISA.

 

Notice – HISA 5_25_2022

Clear Creek Stud Offers Scholarship for Students from Within the Louisiana Horse Industry

With an eye toward the future of our industry, Clear Creek Stud will once again be making a $5000 Scholarship Donation in the name of their clients to a college student with Louisiana based connections to the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Breeding and Racing Industry.

Clear Creek Stud recognizes that for many of the people who perform the hard work of this industry day in and day out, the rewards are often not financial. “We want to help the children who come from these families who put in the long hours and hard work that are essential to keep our industry in operation,” says Val Murrell, general manager of Clear Creek Stud. 

The scholarship recipient will be chosen by the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (LaHBPA) and based on their opinion and evaluation of need and merit.

Interested students should send a letter and resume to Eddie Fenasci at the La.H.B.P.A. office by Friday, March 4, 2022. Letters can be mailed to La.H.B.P.A. attention to Eddie Fenasci 1535 Gentilly Blvd. New Orleans, La. 70119 or email to efenasci@lahbpa.org.

The recipient will be named on the final day of the Fair Grounds meet, Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Delta Downs Could Be Back Under Lights By Nov. 12

By T. D. Thornton

A two-phase fix to the allegedly unsafe new lighting system at Delta Downs is underway that could allow the Louisiana track to switch back from afternoon programs to traditional weekend night cards by Nov. 12.

The recently installed light-emitting diode (LED) system, which was necessitated by the old lights getting wrecked by a hurricane in August 2020, was only operational for three races on the first night program of the season Oct. 15 before a horse fell at the top of the stretch.

Fueled by complaints from some jockeys and trainers that areas on the turns were dangerously dark and shadowy, the remainder of that card and the Oct. 16 program were cancelled. Delta resumed racing during afternoons without lights Oct. 20-23.

 

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Without Jazz Fest, Turf Ready for Fair Grounds Meet

Jazz Fest annually leaves the Fair Grounds grass course in need of recovery.

The recent COVID-19-related cancellation of this fall’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival should leave full turf racing opportunities this fall and winter at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, according to Bernard Chatters, president of the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

Fair Grounds annually hosts the music festival, an event known as Jazz Fest, typically in the spring, drawing thousands onto its infield area and leaving its grass course in need of recovery. The event, a staple in New Orleans tourism, was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and this year it was postponed until the fall before festival officials scrapped it Aug. 8, citing “exponential growth” of COVID-19 cases in the area. It is scheduled to resume next year from April 29-May 8.

 

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Louisiana Horse Industry Under Attack from Unconditional & Unfunded Congressional Mandate, Attorney General Jeff Landry Fights Back

Louisiana Joins Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court to Protect State from Overreaching, Unaccountable Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority

BATON ROUGE, LA – Fighting to protect state sovereignty, Attorney General Jeff Landry has joined Louisiana to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act of 2021 (HISA) – a measure ramrodded into the COVID relief bill that cedes much regulatory and taxation power of the State to an unaccountable nongovernmental entity.

“HISA requires the unelected Authority to exercise regulatory authority over horseracing in Louisiana, mandates our State to assist the Authority, and forces us to choose between remitting funds to the Authority or losing some of our powers of taxation,” explained Attorney General Landry. “This violation of the Tenth Amendment would have devastating effects to our State and the thousands of Louisianans in the horse industry.”

“While I believe that horses should be treated humanely and horseracing should be held to the highest degree of integrity, I know that more bureaucracy from an overreaching and unaccountable fiefdom is not the way to achieve these goals,” continued Attorney General Landry. “We should continue our Legislature’s decades-long delegation of police powers over the industry to the Louisiana State Racing Commission, knowledgeable participants who have collected significant fees and taxes while enforcing our statutes and regulations concerning the health and safety of equine athletes and all other industry participants throughout Louisiana.”

Attorney General Landry’s litigation was met with swift praise and appreciation from those who ply their trade – directly and indirectly – in owning, breeding, training, grooming, racing, and caring for horses in Louisiana.

“The actions of Attorney General Jeff Landry in opposing the HISA law demonstrates his genuine concern for the well-being of the Louisiana horse racing and breeding industry and its participants throughout the State as well as our equine athletes,” said Benard Chatters, the President of the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (LAHBPA).

“The Louisiana Horsemen appreciate and respect the unwavering support of Attorney General Jeff Landry, which he has consistently shown to the Louisiana horse racing and breeding industry throughout our State,” said Ed Fenasci, the Executive Director of the LAHBPA.

Louisiana Judge to Rule Friday on Fair Grounds Emergency Stabling

By T. D. Thornton

A temporary restraining order issued Sep. 4 has blocked a Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) mandate from taking effect that seeks to force the Fair Grounds to open its backstretch stabling to as many as 500 Thoroughbreds displaced by Hurricane Laura in the last week of August. An Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge is now expected to rule on the injunction after a Sep. 11 hearing.

The news site Crescent City Sports first reported on the 57-page request for injunction filed by attorneys for the Fair Grounds, which is owned by the gaming corporation Churchill Downs, Inc. The filing stated that the LSRC “does not have the legal authority to issue the mandatory injunction” and that “issuing such an order constitutes an unconstitutional taking and violates Fair Grounds’ constitutional rights to due process.”

After the Aug. 27 hurricane wrecked infrastructure at Delta Downs, the racino announced that its property would close to assess and repair damage. The Oct. 6-Feb. 27 meet could be delayed or abbreviated.

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LA Horsemen Plea to Commission for Emergency Stabling

By T. D. Thornton

In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura that devastated structures at Delta Downs last week, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (LHBPA) made a written plea to the Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) Sept. 2 asking for an emergency order to be handed down that would mandate “immediate access to stalls to stable at both Louisiana Downs and Fair Grounds.”

The request for stabling involves both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, and is complicated by meets for both breeds ending and starting within the same rough time frame at Louisiana’s four tracks. Additionally, the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic is making movement of people and horses difficult.

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